Population Living in Largest Metro Area in Asia

What percentage of each Asian country’s population lives in its largest metro area?

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Map showing the percentage of each Asian country's population that lives in its largest metro area.

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This map gives us an interesting insight in how much of each country’s population is concentrated in its largest metropolitan area. In most Asian countries, the capital is the largest metro area in the country.

We can see that in general, countries in the Middle East have more of their population concentrated in its largest metro area. In countries like Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Armenia, the majority of the country lives in the country’s largest metro area. Outside of the Middle East, we can see that Mongolia, South Korea, the Maldives and Brunei also have a large share of their population living in the country’s largest metro area.

Asia is also home to one city-state (Singapore) and two non-sovereign city-states (Hong Kong and Macau). In these city-states, the percentage is obviously 100%.

On the other end, we see the two most populous countries in the world, China and India. Only 2% of Indians live in the Delhi metro area. Only 4% of Chinese live in the Pearl River Delta, a metro area that consists of cities like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan.

If you’re curious about Europe, check out this map.

The data for this map comes from Wikipedia and various national government statistics websites. A metropolitan area is not always clearly defined geographically. If you would be using a different definition or source for the metro areas, you will probably and up with very similar percentages. In some cases you might even end up with different cities (e.g., Shanghai instead of the Pearl River Delta). What I want to say with that, is that you can never get a 100% accurate picture of this dataset, but I definitely try to get as close as possible to it. And I’m pretty sure if you use different definitions, you will still get very similar percentages.

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